Lindsay Lohan’s Lawsuit Against Grand Theft Auto V Gets Thrown Out
In a development that will come as a shock to exactly no one, Lindsay Lohan’s lawsuit against Grand Theft Auto V developer Rockstar Games has been thrown out by a five-judge panel in the Manhattan Appellate Division on the grounds that it lacked merit. In addition to Lohan, Karen Gravano’s similar lawsuit against the game developer was also thrown out for the same reason.
Both Lohan and Gravano, the daughter of mafia informant Sonny Gravano, accused Rockstar of using their likeness, persona, and image for certain characters in GTA V. In Lohan’s case, her lawyers identified a character named Lacey Jonas as having too many similarities with the actress. On top of that, Lohan also accused Rockstar of using her image in the game’s promotional material, specifically the bikini-clad blonde that has since earned the nickname “Red Bikini Girl” within Grand Theft Auto circles.
Unfortunately for Lohan and Gravano, their lawsuits didn’t amount to much as the court deemed Grand Theft Auto V “a work of fiction and satire.” It has also been revealed that the model Rockstar hired to be GTA V’s bikini-wearing muse was Shelby Wilander, who provided Nowgamer of the invoice she received from Rockstar for her work with the developer, further adding yet another layer of proof that clearly debunks the lawsuits filed by Lohan and Gravano.
And yet, according to Forbes, Lohan’s lawyers are planning to appeal the court’s decision while Gravano’s own legal team is said to “exploring other options.” It’s unclear how this will all play out when the appeals are filed, but rest assured, this issue is far from settled.
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Money Grab At It’s Finest
Count me in among the thousands of fans of Grand Theft Auto V that thought that the Lindsay Lohan and Karen Gravano lawsuits against Rockstar Games looked and sounded ridiculous when they came out.
On the surface, these lawsuits had the makings of a money grab. At the very least, they were publicity stunts that were meant to bring their names back into the spotlight. Well, that succeeded in some ways but not for the reasons that both ladies probably intended. But hey, any publicity is good publicity, right? It should get even crazier if both parties decide to appeal the court’s decision and continue pursue their cases. There’s nothing wrong with it if they do it; I just don’t think they should given the backlash they stand to get if they wish forward.
On a more serious level, these lawsuits are dangerous in it of themselves because of what they could represent in the future when it comes to defining “creative freedom.” I personally didn’t see the connection between Lohan and the Lacey Jonas, but if for some reason this case drags on and Lohan’s team scores a win at some point, what kind of precedent will that set for those who make a living creating spoofs and satires of public figures? It’s going to be a tricky slope that could reinvent the way we describe “creative freedom” and whether the law will have a similar description of it.